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Open mike 12/07/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 12th, 2013 - 61 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

61 comments on “Open mike 12/07/2013 ”

  1. Rosetinted 1

    Latest bright idea dreamt up by Treasury wallah – ooh that’s a good one, I must turn on the light and put my voice recorder on to retain this pearl before I go off to sleep again – a possible 17.5% GST. (A high of 15% GST used to be in Switzerland, a much more wealthy and strategically run country than we are).

    My waking thought, was a bit of a nightmare. We were wanting to parade with all the major countries, with our little putea of goodies, country’s revenue and tax income over our shoulders. A little figure manfully struggling along, tripping over untidily tied shoe laces (she’ll be right, we don’t fuss over trifles in this country). Eyes right, salute, follow the big boys, and try not to get stood on boy.

    (All very masculine in this comment, because it is still the major theme running through our politics – a masculine individualistic domination approach – leavened by very thin cracks in the barrier door that allow the wider community’s interests and needs to be viewed and heard and the positive and fair ones included in policies.)

    • richard 1.1

      Pity the poor treasury officials: armed with only blind ignorance and stupidity they have had to set the agenda of NZ governments for nearly 30 years.

      They had just enough nous to learn the chants from the Chicago School of Economics in the early 80’s and have managed to get by on not having to come up with anything remotely like a new thought ever since. So pleased were they with having learnt the Chicago school chants that even the discrediting of their source as an intellectual fallacy divorced from reality couldn’t make them waiver. Perfectly understandable because the chants were hard to learn and there were 10 of them, which is a lot.

      This article on Salon nicely shows how the economists in treasury simplistic world view is destroying America Econ 101 is killing America. Unfortanely, it also says that all the chants they learnt are myths.

    • Rogue Trooper 1.2

      but wait, there’s more, get in quick before GST comes on your < $400 online purchase (oh those poor High St retailers, "it's not an easy game" don't you know…
      -when, not if, the retirement age is lifted.
      -CPI Index taxation
      and to round off the sale, reduce growth in government Vote Health expenditure.

      (nett GDP/ debt is going to get worse before it gets better, but Nevermind, treasury have a wand that will fix debt to 20% GDP).
      Pain for the government (Nah), or, pain for the people (Yeah).

      It seems that government and their officials only lag about Four years behind informed awareness of the zeitgeist .

      • Rosetinted 1.2.1

        Well the High St retailers might well complain, as the whole system was supposed to be set on a base of a level playing field. When you are in a specialist field where people can go outside the taxation regime that you operate under, it hurts.

        And when some of these people talk about how cheap things are overseas, have they included the shipping? There are some specials with free shipping offered from time to time, that’s a good buy then. Some people complain that booksellers here make too much. If you compare how many booksellers still exist in business, to how many women’s clothes shops there are, it is noticeable that there are far fewer booksellers. It suggests that it isn’t a hugely profitable business.

        I suggest that we all go and visit our local book store and look at the wonderful array of authors and topics, and cover designs, all gems of the mind, forget about pretty bracelets and rings. Buy something there people, keep them open and stop moaning that they charge too highly.

        • Rogue Trooper

          I have not bought anything online for, I can’t remember how long, maybe over a year. I only buy second-hand books (got plenty anyway): Last two books, ‘The Human Web : A Birds-eye View of World History’ – McNeill & McNeill , and, ‘Middlesex’- Jeffrey Eugenides, both for $2. I have known for some time now, the traps of the technology, the technology being a glorified pokie machine, extracting peoples money regardless of location. For me, it’s free, unlimited UFB, for now, and if that comes to another boring dead-end, so be it. c’est la vie 😉

          • Rosetinted

            I am into book trading on Trademe. I generally use them for cheap, under $10 plus postage and I find the 1960s books I’m following. I buy my occasional new book (low income bracket) from my local bookseller where everybody knows my face! Overseas is good for second hand books that are hard to get here, and sometimes I can be tempted by an omnibus volume and so get two or three stories for the same price and post as one. Having done that a few time I am on the promotion lists for anyone I have dealt with which can be a nuisance.

        • Draco T Bastard

          And when some of these people talk about how cheap things are overseas, have they included the shipping?

          More than likely. I bought a set of books a while back. To get them through Whitcoulls and other books stores was going to cost $70+ (in one it was over $100). I got them from Amazon, delivered to my door, for $30.

          Some people complain that booksellers here make too much. If you compare how many booksellers still exist in business, to how many women’s clothes shops there are, it is noticeable that there are far fewer booksellers. It suggests that it isn’t a hugely profitable business.

          It comes down to turnover. NZ booksellers probably don’t get a lot (we have this anti-intellectual bias) and so they have to hike their prices to cover costs which decreases turnover (and I’m not a fan of the demand curve argument) but, mostly, with the internet people can compare prices here and overseas and then buy the cheaper ones.

          With e-books it’s getting even easier to buy books. I just bough two, not from the publisher or retailer but direct from the author. The internet means that we can kiss the middlemen goodbye. Eventually, even manufacturers will realise this as they’ll be able to maintain a high rate of turnover without having to wholesale their products.

          What will become of mainstreet when the only stores there will be cafes?

          • Rosetinted

            We may just have to foster the old intellectual gatherings in coffee shops of yore?

    • RedLogix 1.3

      Neo-classical economics has spent the last 40 yrs destroying everything it touched:


    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      The Secret to Finland’s Success With Schools, Moms, Kids—and Everything

      The theory of the welfare state was that “everyone should get a slice of the cake so that they have what they need to realize their life projects.”

      Exactly and that’s why NZ is going backwards as we’ve decided that the rich should more of the cake while everyone else should get less and less and thus can’t “realize their life projects.”

      • Rosetinted 1.4.1

        I think our problem here is that NZ people demean each other too often. The tight-minded groupthink on how to be causes thoughts about people being undeserving of consideration, and affects people’s willingness to make room for and give respect and opportunities to people who are perceived to be different.

        One example is Maori grievance. The first thought amongst some is not that we should make reparation for mass denials of rights and theft, but why should they get something when I’m not, they don’t deserve what they are getting.

  2. weka 2

    Anyone else finding the standard slow to load in the past day or two?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      yes, and I’ve had a number of experiences where it never seems to quite finish loading.

      • Tom 2.1.1

        That’s OK, it’s just your friendly local GCSB techie working on the lines ..

        • Rogue Trooper

          Lineman for The County (sheriff).

        • weka

          I thought it was our friendly local techie lying on a beach in Samoa 😉

          (not that I think Lynn should be working on ts today).

  3. Anyone else concerned about this?

    Will the NBR publish THIS comment – on the increased risk of money-laundering with the proposed ‘Sky City’ deal /legislation?


    Who is looking at the MAMMOTH ‘elephant in the room’?

    The increased risk of money-laundering associated with the NZ International Convention Centre (Sky City) Bill?

    Increased economic growth for ‘organised crime’?

    Increased employment opportunities for ‘money launderers’?

    Seen THIS?


    ” New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill 2013

    Regulatory Impact Statement

    New Zealand International Convention Centre

    Potential risk of money laundering

    95 Cash intensive industries such as casinos are attractive to money laundering activity. New Zealand’s National Risk Assessment 2010 assessed casinos as presenting moderate to high risk of money laundering.

    97 However, there are aspects of the regulatory concessions that
    potentially raise the risk of money laundering through SkyCity.

    98 For example, the anonymity that can be associated with TITO technology has the potential to facilitate money laundering, by increasing the potential for currency refining and ticket structuring.

    In effect, this means that low denomination notes could be fed into one or more gaming machines or kiosks and then be redeemed by ticket into high denomination notes or casino cheques.

    Increasing the use of TITO technology (and raising the denominations that can be fed into a machine) may therefore increase the potential for money laundering.

    99 Increased use of “white cards” may also lead to increased risk of money laundering.

    White cards are an account-based system with a unique identifier that permits transaction sequences to be tracked. However, the form of identification information associated with each card will depend on the “business relationship” between the casino and the white card holder(s).

    100 The limits on anonymous cashing-out of TITO and white cards described in paragraphs 69-71 of this paper are aimed at mitigating this potentially higher risk of money laundering. ”

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption/anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  4. Bearded Git 4

    This has stuffed up Key’s bill a treat. Anyone for a reverse ferret?


    • Rogue Trooper 4.1

      Cunning Human Rights. (freedom of expression and association).

    • weka 4.2

      what’s a reverse ferret?

    • Rosie 4.3

      Doesn’t seem concerned though. Classic Key: “Ain’t bovvered”. Just like it looked like he was dying of boredom at the hearing, listening to submitters. Key’s couldn’t -care -less type response from that article:

      “Mr Key has dismissed the Human Rights Commission’s concerns about the Government’s controversial GCSB legislation and told the organisation to “pull its socks up” for not making a submission on time.

      “I think the Human Rights Commission actually should take a step back and ask themselves the question why they didn’t put a submission in on time. They are funded by the government and they were the only people that actually couldn’t make the deadline.”

      He dismissed the commission’s concerns that there would be a lack of and oversight and accountability, and that the public’s trust in intelligence agencies would be further eroded.”

      But definitely some one should put a ferret up his trousers. Might be bovvered then.

      • wyndham 4.3.1

        Note the implied threat from Key – – – “they are funded by the government”.

        • Rosie

          Exactly. It was a completely unnecessary comment, he just likes to have a little dig and hint at a little threat.

        • Tim

          Its a shame the current opposition aren’t offering the same implied threat re GCSB legislation.
          (A simple solution waiting in the wings.)

      • ak 4.3.2

        already a backward weasel in there Rose….

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      One thing revealed: the NSA works closely with large software companies during the development and testing of things like webmail, instant messaging, social media etc, before the apps are rolled out to the public.

    • Rogue Trooper 5.2

      “The US operates it’s programs under a strict oversight regime…Not all countries have equivalent oversight requirements to protect civil liberties and privacy”- Shawn Turner, NI & Judith Emmel, NSA.

      Guess “Not all countries” implies an oligarchy near you!

      “Following the footsteps of a rag-doll dance
      We are entranced

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        The NSA simply outsource spying on US citizens to the UK’s GCHQ. This is effectively a work around any local restrictions they have against spying on their own citizens.

  5. Mariana Pineda 6

    With a government debt as huge as it is the Nats shouldn’t be burying their heads in the sand for too much longer.

    I don’t understand how they can get us all so much in the crap yet so many people think they emit sweet farts.

    Then any government who follows the Nats and does improve our financial position and the lives of the many are said to be wastrels.

    The reality is that they have done really well because they had to start way behind the 8 ball due to the Nats cronyism and selective spending to enrich their mates.

    It doesn’t figure and demonstrates how our MSM and big money spin situations so that they have little resemblance to reality


    • Winston Smith 6.1

      “I don’t understand how they can get us all so much in the crap yet so many people think they emit sweet farts. ”
      – Thats easy, just look at the alternative (Labour)

      • Rogue Trooper 6.1.1

        it’s a Windy City.

      • Mariana Pineda 6.1.2

        But if you have a look at the trend of government debt you will notice that the increase by the Nats isn’t anywhere near a sweet fart.

        It is actually a very smelly dump.

        • Rogue Trooper

          That’s what happens when the same finger in the pie doubles as a suppository; not enough consideration given to be Hind u custom.

  6. Mariana Pineda 7

    I like it Rogue. LOL

  7. Want to make a ‘submission’ on the NZ International Convention Centre ( aka SHONKY Sky City Deal) Bill?

    ‘Drop dead’ date for ‘submissions’ is Thursday 22 August 2013.

    It’s gone to the Commerce Select Committee.



    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  8. Tom 9

    Is John Key out of control ?

  9. Rogue Trooper 10

    Some Old news:
    Christchurch City Council experiences a credit down-grade.
    Hot Air Balloons, Yes. Tongan MA60’s, No.
    Aussie- for 4 consecutive months, job ads have fallen. In New Zealand, outside of the main centres, the market is also flat (can be determined by reading between-the-lines of the latest MSM hype concerning the Bay of Plenty / Tauranga.
    The ‘Pakeha Party’ receive around 19000 Facebook ‘likes’; more than the Greens and Labour pages combined.

    Obama on CC; 40% of US GHG come from electricity generation ,and the coal-producing states are resisting; the Republican line- “war on coal is a war on jobs”

    Solid Energy- when is a bail-out not a bail-out? When it’s a secured, or not, loan, which aided and abetted by Carter, Key is “not gonna bother answering” to; Q.5, Q.T 9.7

    The restructuring of DoC has “left it dead in the water”- professor Abby Smith. According to the Department’s own Four-year plan, national eco-systems are on the decline, and the department will have to do less from 2015 on; Q.9 (same day).
    We are losing our biodiversity / biosecurity and this will be exacerbated by further free-trade agreements and growth in tourism- John Lancashire.

    Despite all this legal farce, Rhys Jones concedes that Jon Stephenson probably did speak to the officer ‘B’ concerning the NZDF SAS turning captured insurgents over to torture (and vacuum cleaner design).

    If a fisherman sees a red-headed woman on May Day, he should not go to sea.
    -Irish folk proverb.
    (the ‘man ban’; Shearer- “a distraction”; Curran- “not happy about it”; Cunliffe- “it’s not really my business). Now, all we have to await is that ‘fiscal drag’ (lower taxation thresholds) that Treasury are proposing to make up the short fall in future government accounts and everything will be coming up roses, or daisies. 😀

  10. aerobubble 11

    So great, we are going to grow the economy by having more gambling, that’s what the voters wanted when they voted National. That I could put up a shed on the front lawn and have some pokies running inside. Oh, joy, the jobs, the country will boom…. …for a short time before it crashes!!!

    No, Key lies again, people voted for the conference center at any cost, no, no they didn’t. Every National MP think that gambling will make us all richer, are they clueless!@!!

    • logie97 11.1

      Interesting to hear Sam Lotu-iinga justifying his “support for” in the conscience vote saying that the Skycentre deal will be good for Pacifika employment. “You only have to go their now and see the bouncers et cetera.” Gee he shows great leadership and aspiration for his people.

      • North 11.1.1

        Sam Sam Sam……..I know some of your aiga. True.

        Refresh me on the Samoan term for “wannabee palagi scab” will you Sammy ?

        In the face of the disgust I observed (but to be fair and in deference to your Molesworth-Street-Matai rep) I soothingly ventured that you had it partly right at least.

        Employment. Yes, those acres and acres and acres of extra carpet for Samoan ladies to vacuum in the middle of the night. On minimum rate plus 5 cents. Away from their kids. The 5.30 am bus just failing to get them home in time to have a cuppa with hubby before he’s off to the factory.

        I left town quickly.

      • aerobubble 11.1.2

        But its also bad business. Say a kid dies from thirst in the car park (as mum is in the casino) just when the water bottlers of NZ have their conference. SkyCity CEO has a duty of care to his shareholders not to expose itself to bad ethical and moral PR. How does the active consent produced from meetings in a conference center getting coupled to a Casino actively help either business? Its like connecting the Hobbit with anti-unionism, its just bad business. Other industries have chemicals in Milk crisises, so why would the National party vote to a man and women that SkyCity Conference center would not turn off big business who want to keep away from bad publicity. Geez, community groups worked very hard to lower the number of pokies. Its just escapes me how poor National understand good business practice. Like de-resourcing, de-regulating, the mines inspectorate. Who does that, lock in the conference center with casino gambling????

  11. logie97 12

    I wonder if the countries new expert minister of security matters, gambling matters, energy matters and anything else that matters will bother to read this research or will he be just be an expert without doing the reading or research…


  12. Colonial Viper 13

    G4S private security firm may have fraudulently charged UK Govt by millions

    Surprise surprise.


    • McFlock 13.1

      With one or two tweaks, it might be a back-door method of creating the workers’ paradise: conceivably, G4S employees could end up monitoring the home detention anklets of their bosses. 🙂

  13. Colonial Viper 14

    Russ Tice, the original NSA whistleblower, says Obama was a surveillance target well before he ran for the White House

    Some disturbing implications. Also he says that a serving justice of the US Supreme Court, Alito, has been a surveillance target.

    • muzza 14.1

      The, other whistle blower, been largely ignored!

      Quite sure, its well past disturbing, CV!

  14. Rogue Trooper 15


    • McFlock 15.1


      edit: damn, no subscript tag 🙂

      • Rogue Trooper 15.1.1

        sigh, where is this cat’s tail gonna end Flockie (good to see you and the Viper rough-and-tumbling like litter mates, for now at least).

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